Last modified on March 13th, 2018 at 6:57 AM

Beef Enchilada Recipe

Easy beef enchilada recipe! This recipe is so good with a completely homemade enchilada sauce that doesn’t take a blender to make. SO EASY! Plus 3 ideas for making beef enchilada freezer meals!

Close-up of three beef enchiladas topped with cilantro, sour cream and olives.

We love tex-mex in the Kelley household and this beef enchilada recipe is one of our favorites! I have been working on developing the perfect beef enchilada for our family for some time. I wanted something easy and all homemade, but still flavorful and delicious.

Beef enchilada recipe ingredients (charred tortillas, enchilada sauce, onion, garlic, cilantro, and ground beef).

Sometimes enchilada recipes with homemade sauce are complicated and overwhelming! This beef enchilada recipe gets you a flavorful homemade sauce, without any steps that are crazy complicated or require using a blender. I actually cook the meat and sauce together for max flavor, and then just strain the filling.

Draining the sauce from the ground beef mix for beef enchilada recipe.


Mixing cheese into the beef mix for the beef enchilada recipe.

Once the filling is strained, you just add in the other fillings. Cheese, of course.

Adding cilantro into the beef mix for the beef enchilada recipe.

Cilantro, if you love it like me. If it makes your mouth taste soapy, just leave it out! 🙂

Finished beef mixture for beef enchilada recipe.

This filling is so delicious, I also use it for quesadillas. Life. Changed. Right??

Dipping tortillas in the enchilada sauce prior to filling and rolling.

I like to use the smaller tortillas for this beef enchilada recipe, and I have recently come to love and cook more with corn tortillas. I toast them over my burner for this recipe and then dip them in the sauce before rolling.

The right amount of filling for this beef enchilada recipe.

I grew up eating beef enchiladas made with the larger flour tortillas, which are delicious! If you don’t have time for the method I outline here, just use some small flour tortillas! It will still be delicious and no one will hold it against you – I promise.

Rolling a beef enchilada closed.

Be cautious not to overfill the beef enchiladas. I like just a few tablespoons. They roll more easily and then you can eat more. Obviously one of my life goals…Ha.

Pouring enchilada sauce over rolled enchiladas in a pan.

Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the beef enchiladas, the sauce in these pics was a little thinner than normal because I messed around with the sauce recipe.

HA. They were still delicious but I’ll stick to this version of my beef enchilada recipe from now on!

Sprinkling cheese onto a pan of beef enchiladas.

Top those babies with cheese and pop ’em in the oven! Then wait. Anxiously. On pins and needles. Nervously. Excitedly.

Because they are just so dang good. 

Beef enchiladas finished baking, sprinkling cilantro and olives on top.

Don’t hesitate to switch up the kind of beef you use either – I often use leftover shredded beef or steak in these and it is fantastic as well. If you were feeling really crazy, you could even go for pork or chicken. The sauce goes well with anything!

Lifting cheesy beef enchiladas out of a pan.

This is one of my favorite recipes to transform into a freezer mealfreezer meal!!

I have three different ways I like to do this:

  1. Our family only eats half of this beef enchilada recipe for one meal. Most often, I’ll simply place half of the filling mixture in a quart zip-top bag, label it, and freeze it flat. I do the same thing with half of the sauce. Then all I have to do to make this is thaw it, add a couple tablespoons of water to each, assemble the enchiladas and bake!
  2. If I do want to assemble the entire recipe, I’ll put half in a 8×8 baking dish and cook it up for dinner. I assemble the other half in a disposable 8×8 baking dish and place it in the freezer. If you don’t have a disposable baking dish, just line a regular dish with foil or parchment. Once everything is frozen, you can pull it out with the foil or parchment and place it in a zip-top bag. Obviously, you’d place it back into a dish for baking. I place these frozen in a cold oven, preheat to 300 and bake for 20 minutes, increase the temperature to 400 and bake until bubbly. I don’t like to let these thaw before baking, I think it makes them too soggy.
  3. If I’ve baked an entire recipe and there is a lot leftover, I divide them up into individual portions for a quick dinner or lunch. I love using disposable bread baking dishes for this, or you can even just use a piece of foil you’ve turned up the edges on, just bake them on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish. I bake these in the oven using the same method as in step 2, just adjusting the first time down by 5 or 10 minutes if there are only a few enchiladas I’m reheating.

Three beef enchiladas topped with sour cream, olives, and cilantro on a white plate with the full pan in the background.

There you have it! The best and easiest homemade beef enchilada recipe. Looking for some other enchilada recipes? Check out my Easy Pork Enchiladas or my Easy Chicken Enchiladas {Honey Lime}.

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Close-up of three beef enchiladas topped with cilantro, sour cream and olives.
5 from 1 vote

Beef Enchilada Recipe

This Beef Enchilada Recipes is totally homemade, incredibly easy and won't turn your kitchen into a disaster! Delicious and flavor packed. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef enchilada recipe, beef enchiladas, ground beef enchiladas
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 366 kcal


For the Sauce and Filling

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil optional
  • 1 onion medium, minced fine
  • 1 small jalapeño chile seeded with the membranes removed, minced fine
  • 2 garlic cloves minced fine
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounce can),
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cheese shredded, cheddar or monterey jack
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped

For Assembly

  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas OR flour tortillas (details for each in the instructions)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese I like cheddar or monterey jack


  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce


For the Sauce and Filling

  1. In a large skillet, begin browning ground beef. 

  2. When it is almost browed completely, add the onion and the jalapeño chile and sauté. You may need to add more oil at this point.

  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. If necessary, remove any excess oil.
  5. Add spices and cook for 1-2 minutes until they bloom and become fragrant.
  6. Pour in tomato sauce and beef broth and simmer until flavors meld, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and taste to determine if you need more or less.
  8. To separate the sauce and the filling, place a fine mesh strainer over a heat-proof bowl and pour the sauce and meat through. Press the meat with a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. 

  9. Pour filling into a bowl and combine with cilantro and 1 cup of the cheese, stirring quickly to avoid large clumps of melted cheese.

For Assembly

  1. Spread about 1/3-1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. If you are using corn tortillas, I like to turn on one of my gas burners to medium-low and set the tortilla on top for a few minutes until it is brown and the edges are slightly charred. Turn it over and repeat of the opposite side. If you have an electric stove, you can do this by putting the tortillas on a cooking sheet in a single layer and broiling for a few minutes in the oven. 

  3. If you are using flour tortillas, skip this step and begin with step 5.

  4. Dip the tortilla in the sauce and coat on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Fill with about 3 tablespoons of filling.

  6. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  7. Repeat until filling is gone.
  8. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts
Beef Enchilada Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 462mg 19%
Potassium 510mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 3g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 25.7%
Vitamin C 10.3%
Calcium 22.6%
Iron 19.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  • Reply
    Sammi Windley
    December 30, 2017 at 7:30 PM

    It’s hard to find a good beef enchiladas recipe! Glad this one is really good.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    I made these the other night and they turned out SO good! I’ll definitely make them again. My husband even said “I like the little hint of cilantro in it!” I didn’t even think he knew what cilantro was, haha! Thanks Alli!!

    • Reply
      August 12, 2016 at 2:15 PM

      I’m so glad they turned out so well!! Haha, sometimes Andy surprises me with his ingredient prowess 🙂 Thank you!

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